And Joph? We all know he's been talking about allowing those cuts to expire. But he lost that battle, didn't he?
For 2011. It was a one year extension. He's saying he won't extend it again.
He said that last year too! We'll see how that goes. I'm not for a moment suggesting he doesn't want to raise those taxes, just that this isn't something the American people agree with him on. I guess my point being that when people understand that the issue is increased taxes, they oppose it. Which is presumably why the language change is being used here.
PW, yet again, wrote:
Back in 2009, the New York Times calculated that 37% of the deficits were due the economic downturn, 33% were due to Bush's policies, 20% were due to Obama's extensions of Bush's policies, and another 10% were due to Obama's policies like the stimulus."
That's some "interesting" measuring of the deficits though. Some nice vague phrasing too! I'm assuming they just calculated the total dollar amount of the deficit that year and did some math. But that's not really a fair way of calculating it though, since it's the deltas that really matter. X amount of spending is ok, X+Y puts you over the top. It's somewhat ludicrous to simply calculate the percentage Y is of the total (X+Y) and conclude that Y only contributed a tiny amount to the problem.
I'm also still unsure where the hell they got their numbers, or what kind of magical math they used. Here's the numbers as I see them:
Year Revenue Spending Deficit Debt Debt%
2006 2,406.9 2,655.1 -434.5 4,829.0 36.5
2007 2,568.0 2,728.7 -342.2 5,035.1 36.2
2008 2,524.0 2,982.5 -641.8 5,803.1 40.3
2009 2,105.0 3,517.7 -1,549.7 7,544.7 53.3
2010 2,161.7 3,455.8 -1,371.1 9,017.8 62.1
I'm including 2006 and 2007 numbers to help establish a baseline, and including the deb% figure because it gives us a better idea of the actual relative "size" of the resulting debt.
From this we can see that the deficit in 2007 was "sustainable" since the debt ratio was actually decreasing. Thus, we can say that 434B over budget doesn't hurt us economically in the long run (as long as GDP growth remains relatively constant, and it's not like we're talking abnormally high GDP growth rates during this time period, so that's a reasonable assumption). This is our baseline for calculating where we went wrong. Let me again remind you that there were no tax changes during this time period. All revenue losses are due to economic downturn and not tax changes.
From that baseline we can see that in 2008 (the first year the downturn hit us), revenue only dropped slightly ($44B). Spending increased by $254B. This is reflected by a deficit increase of almost exactly $300B. Notice that by increasing from 342B to 641B we went from a Debt% that was decreasing to a debt% that increased by 4%. This illustrates what I'm talking about. Each dollar of deficit is not equal. We can presumably assume that most of the spending increases were due TARP costs incurred that year. We could certainly place this at Bush's feet. And we could even argue that the delta was 100% Bush's fault, since 100% of the increased deficit which resulted in an increasing debt% was the result of his actions (we'll ignore the contributions of the congress for the moment since it really doesn't matter in this case). Technically, it's more like 87/13, since about 13% of that drop was from the economy losing ground from our baseline.
Here's where it gets sticky though. In 2009, revenues dropped $419B. That's not good. However, spending went up $535B. Our deficit went up an additional $908B
. We're well into danger territory, but where did the danger come from? Well, from our baseline, which we've established is sustainable, revenues dropped a total of $463B. And during that entire time, deficit increased by $1207B. Which means that economic losses account for 38% of the deficit delta (pretty close to the NYT numbers!). But what about the rest? We can simplify the math and just look at spending deltas each year and conclude that the spending increase of $535B is 44% of the deficit delta since 2007. That amount is 100% the "fault" of Obama and the Democrats since the GOP had no hand in (and in fact strongly opposed) the spending increases that year.
In case you're wondering, since I calculated the delta between 2009 and 2007, but included both years total revenue losses as "economic effects", and only the 2009 spending increases as "Obama's spending", the remaining 18% left over is the percentage of that total deficit delta which can be attributed to spending increases prior to Obama taking office. But let's check that math, just in case: 254/1207=.21. Hmmm... I'm off a bit, but I've been rounding numbers off as well, so that's close enough.
The point being that the numbers clearly show that by 2009, the largest single contributing factor to the deficit increase since the start of the "economic crisis" was from spending increases in 2009. The next largest was the revenue losses from the economic crisis itself, and the smallest factor was increases generated by the Bush administration.
Um... Obviously, your numbers will be different if you calculate the whole deficit number instead and attribute that starting 342B to Bush. Doing that gets you: Revenue loss 30%, Obama spending 34%, and Bush spending 38%. Still not exactly the NYT numbers either, but I'm sure they dug a bit deeper and managed to even more obfuscate the bigger picture in their calculations.
I just think that when figuring out why things were working before and aren't working now, we should look at what has changed. When we examine those deltas, it's very clear that there are two effects at work: decreased revenue from the downturn and increased spending. The decreased revenue isn't the result of a tax code change though, so we don't need to change anything (or at least we shouldn't). The increased spending is quite clearly the result of a political agenda which has sought to take advantage of the economic crisis to push its own social agenda and spend as much as possible while they had the power to do so. They did this in 2009 and 2010 and now the bill is coming due. But instead of being responsible and reversing the unwise spending, they're insisting that we "compromise" by raising taxes and cutting spending.
IMO, that's not a compromise. It wasn't a combination of tax cuts and spending increases that got us here, so it's unfair to argue that we need a combination of tax increases and spending cuts to get us out. Doubly so when one side is attempting to make some of those "spending cuts" in the form of actual tax increases. I honestly suspect that this is one of the reasons for the language being used. The Dems want to be able to point to those tax increases and call them spending cuts so that they can claim that they cut spending as well as increased taxes. Kinda like how they argued that they were "offering" 30B in cuts in the latest budget debate, when in fact that 30B was cuts that had already been agreed to and were mostly defense cuts the GOP had given up as their part of a "compromise" on the budget. So we're supposed to share in the cuts, the GOP offers up some cuts in the military and defense budgets, then the Dems claim those cuts as their own when arguing that they shouldn't have to give up spending on their precious social programs.
How many times do we have to watch this sort of underhanded game before the people take notice and realize that the Dems will do anything they can to avoid having to ever cut any real spending? It's pretty disgusting really. Made all the more worse by just how predictable the behavior is.